The Green Bay Packers' second preseason game is now in the books, and so we have our next batch of player superlatives. Obviously, the most compelling and important storyline of the game concerns the knee of wide receiver Jordy Nelson, but both this article and its companion piece released later today will discuss other matters.
Here are the players that boosted their stock the most during Sunday's game against the Pittsburgh Steelers:
Yes, for the second straight week, the man affectionately called "Scoots" makes an appearance on the stock up list. Scott Tolzien performed well on Sunday, completing 11 of his 19 passes for 102 yards including a 21-yard dart to Richard Rodgers for a touchdown. Tolzien looks comfortable and in command of the offense, and it's clear that this isn't the same guy that showed up at 1265 Lombardi Ave. just before Week 1 of the 2013 season.
More importantly, the Packers gave Tolzien some burn with the first-team offense, a sign that the quarterback has entrenched himself as Aaron Rodgers' backup. General manager Ted Thompson continues to look smart for his decision to re-sign Tolzien while allowing Matt Flynn to walk.
That touchdown pass from Tolzien? Well, it could have just been a deep completion inside the Pittsburgh 5-yard line if not for Rodgers' ability to extend his body horizontally. On the play, the second-year tight end broke free to snag a pass away from his body and managed to stay off the ground long enough to cross the ball over the goal line.
For a player perceived to have athletic limitations when he entered the league, Rodgers looks more and more like a starting-caliber tight end with each passing game. No one will confuse him with Jermichael Finley on the field (or off it), but the Packers only need Rodgers to help solidify the tight end position.
LaDarius Gunter and Damarious Randall
Last week, rookie cornerbacks Quinten Rollins and LaDarius Gunter captured everyone's attention for his fine performance against the New England Patriots. Gunter had another quality showing, but this time it was Damarious Randall that joins him on the stock up list.
Gunter battled Martavis Bryant most of the afternoon and held him to just one reception. The Miami (Fla.) alumnus broke up three passes, including a back-shoulder throw to Bryant near the goal line. For whatever Gunter lacks in speed, he makes up for with length and instincts. Barring injury, he will make the Packers' 53-man roster.
As for Randall, he made his preseason debut and registered three tackles and a pass break up. He also beat a Pittsburgh receiver for a jump ball, coming down with the game's only interception. Randall left the field briefly, but unlike many of his teammates and opponents was able to return.